Hunting and camping oftentimes require a lot of the same types of gear. Which is great news for any outdoor enthusiast since it means you get a lot more for your hard-earned money, especially on the more expensive items in your outdoor toolkit. Not enough hunters purchase gear with multiple seasons in mind. However, with the costs of everything going up with seemingly no end in sight, now is a good time to start thinking about these things and making your dollars stretch further. And the truth is, maybe you haven't thought about how some of your gear can prove useful across multiple seasons like this. Today we'll note the nine most unique items you can seamlessly move from your hunting back to your camping pack as the seasons change.
Unless you are not hunting ten minutes from home, you are probably going to need a utility knife that you can use to cut anything you may need. The best knives are quite pricey, so it pays to think about multiple uses. It is important to have a beefier knife than your skinning knife when you are hunting because you do not want to dull your skinning knife on a piece of rope, or wood. Most of us will certainly need a good knife to cut all sorts of things while we are camping. You will likely need to cut some rope, or wood while you are setting up your tent or making a fire. Using one knife to do it all is possible and not a bad idea, just make sure you select a high-quality steel that has excellent edge retention qualities and is easy to sharpen in the field. On that note, don't forget to have some type of sharpener packed in your hunting or camping pack!
Whenever I go out in the woods, you can bet that I am armed. I always keep a firearm on me when I'm outdoors. You do not want to get caught with your rifle being a few yards away propped up on a tree in the moment you need it to defend yourself, especially when you are in bear country. The danger goes up a few notches when you have a fresh harvest, and the smell of blood is in the air to draw hungry bruins your way. Likewise, there is no telling what you could encounter while camping. When carrying a handgun, I prefer to wear a holster that goes across my chest. This makes my pistol comfortably sit around my sternum and allows me to draw it quickly if needed. Just make sure you check your state's regulations on the carrying of firearms while camping on certain public lands before you head out.
3. First Aid
Whenever you travel to somewhere where it could take a while to get medical attention, it is a good idea to at least bring some basic first aid. When you are hunting or camping, any number of things could happen while you are in the woods. Accidents usually happen when we least expect, and you want to make sure that you have the equipment ready to deal with it. In some locations, it could take hours to get you to a hospital. Your first aid kit should have everything you need to bandage up a basic cut, burn, or sprained ankle. Make sure it has plenty of gauze, alcohol wipes, Neosporin, bandages, and burn cream. If you want to be extra prepared, you should include a tourniquet in your first aid kit. It could just save a life in a bad hunting accident. You can get a first aid kit with all these items easily online. We also recommend adding some insect sting relief and basic painkillers to a kit that doesn't have them. Trust us, you'll thank us later!
4. Snacks & Water
No matter where you go in the woods you need to bring a few snacks and water. I know most of us are 007's in the deer woods, zero does, zero bucks, and seven little Debbie cakes. It's always a good idea to have something to eat. If you are going camping, you likely need a lot more food and water than on a hunting trip, but the same stockpile of snacks can fill both bags. Having snacks and water goes beyond just making your outdoor adventures more fun, they could also save your life in an emergency survival situation. Many of the hardest survival stories we've ever heard involved someone who was in the woods hunting and fishing with no food, no water, or worse, a lack of both. Don't make things harder on yourself by neglecting some basics.
5. Fire Starter or Lighter
I don't smoke, but I always carry a lighter in my back pocket everywhere I go. A lighter is always a useful tool to have. You don't necessarily have to start a fire, but a lighter is also good for cauterizing the ends of string or paracord. For campers, the value of a lighter or fire starter is tenfold. You need to make a fire to cook and have a good time around with your friends at night. When you are hunting, you could need to burn any number of things. Again, we should underscore the importance of one as a survival item in case something goes wrong. Because starting a fire with a lighter is way easier than rubbing two sticks together. That's why a lighter is always welcome in my pack.
This piece of gear is really a two-for-one. You could bring your hunting gloves with you to keep yourself warm while you are camping. If you must hike to your camping spot, you will be happy to have those gloves in the winter months. A good pair of gloves will also protect your hands while chopping wood or carrying out other camp chores. The gloves that I like to pack for both occasions are sanitary rubber gloves. When I am hunting, I use them while I am skinning a deer. This keeps you much cleaner and keeps any bacteria from getting in any nicks you may have on your hand. You can also use them for the same thing while camping, and possibly while cooking or cleaning fish at camp.
This is one many people simply never consider. Paracord has near endless uses. When I am hunting, I use it as a hoist for my bow when I am climbing up and down in my tree stand. I have also used it to help hang a deer and to help in dozens of other on-the-fly situations. The same can be said for camping. When you are in the outdoors, sometimes you just need a little rope to fix something up. Paracord is a strong, compact, and cheap solution to that problem. It can also stand in as a great fire-starting material in a pinch, especially when all natural tinder in the area is damp with rain or snow.
8. Headlamp & Flashlight
A headlamp is most useful for hunting when you are walking to your stand before the sun comes up and when you are walking out of it after the sun goes down. A flashlight is useful any time after the sun comes up or goes down, but a flashlight is especially useful for recovering a deer you shot in the late evening. The same can be said for camping. If you are up early or up late, a headlamp keeps your hands free and still lets you see around. Although a flashlight is usually much stronger than a headlamp. Either way a good light is a necessity for those late nights when nature calls and there's not a modern bathroom around. They can also be used to show your kids there are no monsters around the tent at night.
9. Portable Charger
While you are hunting, you should put your phone in your pocket and pay attention. However, you certainly still need your phone. Your phone is your number one safety device while you are hunting. If anything happens, and you still have a signal, you can call for help. The alternative is that you are hopefully able to walk after an accident and get yourself to the hospital. Which of the two choices is more likely to turn out well for you? That's why bringing a portable charger is so important. We've heard too many stories of hunting accidents that started with an uncharged phone. The same could be said for camping. If you are taking your kids with you, it may not be a bad idea to take their phones for a while and get them to look at nature for a few days. However, someone in the group should always have a phone and charger on them to call for help if it is needed.
As you can see, hunting and camping use a lot of the same gear. Not every piece of gear here is an absolute necessity. But they are nice to have. Like they always say, it's nice to have and not need than need and not have. Honestly, if you are not going on a long hike to your camping spot, it's not a bad idea to just take your hunting backpack with you and avoid moving gear back and forth. Either way, I hope we've showed you just how much gear you don't need to buy for camping because you already have it in camouflage!
Enjoy the outdoors?
Don't miss a story! Sign up for daily stories delivered to your inbox.